Chula Vista makes debut in national water conservation competition

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Chula Vista residents looking to conserve water now have another reason to keep an eye out for a leaky faucet, with the city announcing its participation in the 2019 National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation at a City Council meeting on March 26.

The challenge, which is put on by the Wyland Foundation, is entering its eighth year of existence, and this will be the first year Chula Vista partakes.
Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas appeared in a video at the council meeting, calling residents to join the water-waste resistance.

“We know our residents and businesses already conserve a lot of water, now let’s work together and get recognized for our efforts,” she said.

The challenge runs through the month of April, and requires residents to sign up to represent their city online at www.my
waterpledge.com.

Each city participates in a category based on their population size, with Chula Vista competing in the 100,000 to 299,999 residents category.

Participating residents are eligible for prizes including money toward utility bills, home irrigation kits and home improvement gift cards.

Pledge categories include water use in the home, water use in daily life, water choices in yards and water choices in the community.

Caroline Wisniewski, Chula Vista’s environment sustainability manager, said it is important for residents to recognize the value of being water-wise.

“We should always be mindful of using our resources wisely,” she said. “This challenge is just another way to kind of get that message out to our residents and businesses.”

The city’s participation also aligns with its two-year old Water Stewardship Plan, which was approved by City Council in November 2016 and called for participation in a citywide challenge for water conservation.

“When we were approached by the Wyland foundation this year to participate, it was kind of a no-brainer for us to join,” Wisniewski said.

According to the Water Stewardship Plan, only 15 percent of the city’s water comes from local sources, while 85 percent comes from outside imported sources.

Rain has been more common this year than in recent-season’s past, which has helped, but Wisniewski cautioned that, as a Southern California resident, drought is always a potential concern.

“Generally speaking we get very little rain, like 10 inches or less each year,” she said.

“Although we’ve been in drought for many years recently, we aren’t in one now, but we really should be mindful that drought is a definite possibility for us in this region.”

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